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Monday, May 19, 2008

Nietzsche's tradition?

Descent into Hades. -- I too have been in the underworld, like Odysseus, and will often be there again; and I have not sacrificed only rams to be able to talk with the dead, but have not spared my own blood as well. There have been four pairs that have not refused themselves to me, the sacrificer: Epicurus and Montaigne, Goethe and Spinoza, Plato and Rousseau, Pascal and Schopenhauer. With these I have had to come to terms when I have wandered long alone, from them will I accept judgement, to them will I listen when in doing so they judge one another. Whatever I say, resolve, cogitate for myself and others: upon these eight I fix my eyes and see theirs fixed upon me. -- May the living forgive me if they sometimes appear to me as shades, so pale and ill-humoured, so restless and, alas! so lusting for life: whereas those others then seem to me so alive, as though now, after death, they could never again grow weary of life. Eternal liveliness, however, is what counts: what do 'eternal life', or life at all, matter to us! (HAH, II, 408)

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